Princes sat, and spoke against me: help me, O Lord my God, for Thy servant was employed in Thy justifications. (Psalm) Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be to the Father. Princes…
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the heavenly Birthday of him who knew how to pray for his very persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.
Epistle –Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59
In those days Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. Now there arose some of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen: and they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke.
Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. But Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord.
Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me. Help me, O Lord my God, save me for Thy mercy’s sake.
Alleluia, alleluia. I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God. Alleluia.
Gospel – Matthew 23:34-39
At that time Jesus said to the scribes and pharisees: Behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes, and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.
Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not? Behold your house shall be left to you desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see Me henceforth, till you say: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.
The Apostles chose Stephen to be a levite, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost: whom the Jews stoned, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Alleluia.
Receive, O Lord, our gifts, in commemoration of Thy Saints: that as suffering made them glorious, so our devotion may render us innocent. Through our Lord.
I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin to their charge.
May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, help us, and through the intercession of blessed Stephen, Thy Martyr, establish us by Thine everlasting protection. Through our Lord.